Will the revelation of Lady Eleanor's secret destroy her new found happiness?
Lady Eleanor believes she will never escape from the misery of her life as an unpaid governess to her beloved nieces and nephews. On the advice of his mistress, Alexander, Lord Bentley, is seeking a suitable wife to take care of his children and remain in the country, leaving him to live as he pleases.
Mistakenly believing he has compromised Eleanor, he makes her an offer and she, puzzled but delighted, accepts. When she discovers the real reason for his offer, Eleanor is horrified. If she tells him she wasn’t compromised, he will surely send her away. Her brother, Edward, is determined to separate them—he cannot live without his sister's inheritance.
Can Alex foil Edward's evil plans and save the woman he has come to love? Or will her secret ruin their relationship when it is revealed?
"Aunt Eleanor who is that man staring at us? I have not seen him before this," Edward, her brother's heir, shouted as he caught the ball Jonathan hurled in his direction.
She glanced over her shoulder. A tall, fair, gentlemen of aristocratic mien was looking down from the terrace. She straightened from her crouch over the cricket bat. How long had he been there? He must be a recent addition to the gathering as she did not recognise him.
She nodded and the man bowed. Etiquette satisfied, she returned to the lively game she was enjoying with her three nephews and her niece.
"Aunt Eleanor,” Amanda said from behind the stumps. “That man's coming down. Do you think he wants to join in our game?"
"I doubt it, my dear, but I shall ask him for you. We are desperately in need of another fielder, for the boys are quite worn out fetching back my magnificent hits."
Her face was glowing and no doubt liberally streaked with dirt, but she did not care. Playing with her charges, away from the stifling atmosphere inside the house, was the only time she was happy. The four children gathered around her. Ned at almost eleven was already old enough to feel himself her protector.
He was the only one she had.
The man approaching was above normal height and not especially broad, but substantial enough not to need extra padding in the shoulders of his jacket. He wore his hair fashionably short and his eyes were an unusual shade of dark blue. He was every inch the aristocrat. What possible reason could there be for him to wish to speak to her?
"I apologize for disturbing your game, Lady Eleanor, but may I be permitted to join you?" He smiled at the children. "Lord Bentley, at your service, madam."
Without waiting for a by your leave he removed his jacket, tossing it carelessly to the ground, and then took up a position in the outfield. She had no choice. For some obscure reason, his lordship was now part of the children's game of cricket.
Gathering her wits, she hastily introduced her niece and nephews. They were in no doubt: his addition to the fielding side was most welcome. Resuming her stance, she braced herself to receive the next ball. She forgot about the unwanted fielder and concentrated on striking the ball cleanly.
"Gracious! Lord Bentley will have to go into the lake to fetch that ball, Aunt Eleanor."
" Jonathan, you must not let his lordship wade into the water. You run over and fetch it for us."
"Too late! He's taken his boots off already."
Ned laughed. "I doubt he'll find it; he definitely hit a six. I'd better go and assist in the search if we wish to continue the game."
Eleanor hesitated, not sure if she should join in or remain where she was with Amanda. "The afternoon is decidedly warm, don't you think? A paddle in the ornamental lake is exactly what we all need to cool us down."
Coffee Time Romance
Review: Lady Eleanor is the daughter of an Earl, but she is treated worse than the lowliest servant in her brother’s house. She is an heiress…
Got Historical Romance
Review: Story of a titled young woman, Eleanor, treated horribly by her brother who turned her into a governess for his children. He was very abusive…
The Historical Romance Critic
Review: Rating: 4 out of 5
Thoughts After Reading:
Lady Eleanor's Secret was an interesting and fairly well-written read. The story is essentially one of a…
Night Owl Review
Review: Lady Eleanor Thorrington's brother has made her life a living hell. She's done her best to care for his children under deplorable circumstances. Alexander Bentley…